Zadock Amanyisa

Environmental protection is one of the most touching issues that have widely been discussed at national, regional and global platforms. Numbers of conventions have been held to discuss environment and water source protection.

Uganda Citizens Alliance (UCA), a local Non-Governmental Organization  based in Bushenyi district, has secured support from National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) to undertake advocacy and community sensitization campaigns on water source protection across western and southwestern region.

The campaign will in a duration of one year raise awareness about the importance of protecting and saving environment and water sources in Western and South-western Uganda.

The development comes at a time when western and south-western Uganda regions continue to witness a situation of serious change in Agriculture seasons, prolonged droughts and drying up of many water sources notably, traditional wells. The situation has caused a serious challenge in view of the fact that the region is still agro-based.

The purpose of the campaign is to promote public awareness on the importance of environmental and water source protection, promote sustainability of rural water sources and water supply provision in western and southwestern region according to Mr. Elly Muhwezi, the programs director at UCA.

Areas to be covered include Lwengo, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Rushere, Ibanda Kamwenge, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Ruhama, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Kabale, Kisoro, Kasese, Mpondwe, Fortportal, Masindi, and Hoima.

UCA has designed a number of activities aimed at increasing public awareness regarding environment and water source protection as well as change in public behavior.

Activities include, but not limited to district level partnership visits across the region, regional stakeholder meetings, identify and train environmental peer educators and ambassadors across the region, community based clinics, environmental awareness caravans, extensive media, etc

Mr Muhwezi notes that they (UCA) are ready to work with likeminded Ugandans to save the environment for a better future and generations to come.

“As an organization, our commitment towards environment and water source protection is undoubtable and we will stand with the likeminded Ugandans to save future generations. It is our humble call to every Ugandan to join the struggle and protect the environment.” He notes

The platform will make different groups of people to interact and engage on issues of environmental protection and also serve to create awareness and deliver important messages on environmental and water source protection in the region.

Mr Paul Turyamureeba Kahiigi, the NWSC Principle Public Relations Officer for South western Uganda says, using the stakeholder participation approach has been employed as an intervention following increased high rate of water scarcity resulting from destruction of water sources.

“We resorted to stakeholder participation after finding that the threat is increasing at a higher rate. For example, we are unable to extend water to some parts of the region because water levels have gone down due to vigorous encroachment of the population on water sources. This deliberate campaign aims at sensitizing people on water protection. Otherwise in the next ten years, we shall have looming water crisis.” Says Mr Turyamureeba

The UCA Executive Director, Mr Deo Atuhaire says the campaign will use the local media in the beneficiary areas so that the local population can get the intended messages very well.